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Remote work made life easier for many people with disabilities. They want the option to stay

Source | | Neelam Bohra | AJ Willingham

(CNN)Gabe Moses prefers to work his eight-hour shift for a call center while lying on his stomach, resting on a mattress set out on the floor of his apartment.

Moses uses a wheelchair because of conditions including dysautonomia, which arises from a dysfunctional nervous system and can affect major organs, and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. A connective tissue disorder, EDS can cause chronic pain, muscle weakness and ruptured blood vessels.

Before the pandemic, commuting to work and sitting up for hours at a time left Moses in pain and so fatigued, he sometimes lost his ability to speak. But when he started working remotely while lying down, he discovered his job was easier. He had energy at the end of the day to spend time with his wife, watch movies, read books or even take his dog for a walk by tying her leash to his wheelchair.

At the beginning of the pandemic, Moses said his company made him sign a document that claimed it only offered remote work as an emergency measure, and that it could call him back in person at any time.

Now, as the US continues its uneven reopening and some companies expect employees to return to offices, Moses, who lives in an apartment in New York City, worries the option will be taken away.

“It’s really terrifying to think about going back to that life,” Moses told CNN. “Coming back (from work), I would just go right to bed.”

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